Cecil Court - Cecil Court, London, UK
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Master Mariner
N 51° 30.640 W 000° 07.682
30U E 699285 N 5710526
Quick Description: This green plaque, placed by the City of Westminster to Cecil Court, is located on the south side of Cecil Court which is a narrow alley, mainly containing bookshops, that runs west to east from Charing Cross Road to St Martin's Lane.
Location: London, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 6/29/2014 5:49:48 AM
Waymark Code: WMM0WC
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member bill&ben
Views: 1

Long Description:

The rather wordy plaque tells us:

City of Westminster

Between 1897-1915
Cecil Court
became the heart of the
early British Film Industry
and was known as
Flicker Alley
British film pioneers Cecil
Hepworth & James Williamson
had offices here, alongside
international companies
such as Gaumont
Nordisk and
Vitagraph

Cecil Court Traders' Association

Wikipedia tells us:

Cecil Court was an important focus of the early British cinema industry, with over forty entries to be found in the database of the study of the film business in London, 1894-1914, organised by the AHRB Centre for British Film and Television Studies, searchable online as part of the London Project. Arising from this, the street is sometimes called 'Flicker Alley'. The first film-related company arrived in Cecil Court in 1897, a year after the first demonstration of moving pictures in the United Kingdom and a decade before London’s first purpose built cinema opened its doors. ‘Flicker Alley’ was renowned as the place to buy or hire a film in Edwardian London, associated with many of the most important film-makers and distributors in early cinema. Home-grown pioneers including Cecil Hepworth and James Williamson had their offices there; but so did international companies including Gaumont, Nordisk and American Vitagraph. According to film historian Simon Brown Cecil Court’s “importance has been frequently cited by pioneer filmmakers and historians alike”. It was the location for the UK’s first concentration of film-related businesses, and - what is more - they were almost exclusively new businesses, bringing new skills to the industry and sharing “information, products, resources and clientele” (for example, sharing the costs of transporting the film reels themselves and offering joint screenings to the showmen who hired them). The earlier businesses tended to be one-stop shops - filmmakers and dealers in films and equipment. From 1907 the ‘new wave’ of businesses were often more specialised: dealers in the import and distribution of foreign films, or specialists in film rental or equipment alone. One business specialised in cinema confectionery, and for a time the trade periodical ‘The Bioscope’ was published from number 8.

In December 2012, Simon Callow returned to Cecil Court to unveil a plaque celebrating 'Flicker Alley' and the street's significant role in the British film industry.

Blue Plaque managing agency: City of Westminster

Individual Recognized: Cecil Court

Physical Address:
27 Cecil Court
London, United Kingdom


Web Address: [Web Link]

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